Art & Entertainment

Sriya Reddy On Her Villainous Role In 'Salaar': Can't Wait To Play Her Again In 'Salaar: Part 2'

'Salaar' actress Sriya Reddy opened up about her experiences working on the film and making a comeback in Telugu cinema.

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Sriya Reddy
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Where men are seen more dominant in the recently released ‘Salaar: Part 1 — Ceasefire,’ you see equally strong women demanding their own respect, and sometimes even out-doing the men. This specifically sheds light on actress Sriya Reddy who takes on the role of a villain Radha Rama Mannar, daughter of Raja Mannar (played by Jagapathi Babu), who even rules Khansaar for a brief while.

Ever since the film released on December 22, it has been making headlines. In a candid conversation with the Hindustan Times, Sriya Reddy discussed many things, from making a comeback in Telugu cinema to what attracted her to this role in ‘Salaar.’

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The actress revealed that she had told director Prashanth Neel earlier that she wouldn’t do Telugu films unless her role was substantial. She said, “He promised me my role would stand out and he’s a man of his word. There were a lot of phone calls, meetings, look tests…By the end of it all, we knew what Radha Rama Mannar was all about,” she says.

Although, she knew her character would be talked about, she didn’t expect people to love her in it. " I knew she would get a good response, but to this extent? No... I never expected that. I can't wait to play her again in 'Salaar: Part 2 - Shouryaanga Parvam.'"

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Other than Sriya’s demanding performance, what also strikes out is the way she has dressed, in one particular fashion, donning beautiful sarees and silver jewellery, and the nose ring which is a symbol of her tribe. “Prashanth knew what kind of colour palette she needed to carry and the jewellery she would wear from the get-go,” she said, adding, “Costume designer Poornima Ramaswamy did a fabulous job. Prints, stripes, anything complicated that took away focus from her personality were avoided.”

Keeping ‘Salaar’ as an example, the actress talked about the shift in roles that women get to play in films in today’s industry. “You have these well-built men taking centre stage in the film, but there’s also a woman who holds her ground and has a voice among them,” she said. Adding to it, “Filmmakers are evolving. When I acted in ‘Thimiru’ 16 years ago, I was told I wouldn’t get leading roles if I played such headstrong characters. I said, hell with that…I will create new ground rules and do my thing.”

In retrospect, while shooting for ‘Salaar’, she detailed on how she told actor Prabhas that she would be cutting in on his screen time, but he was completely on board with it. “He is one of the nicest human beings. When I told him that, I’m sure he wondered - where is this mad woman from? But he said - sure, take whatever you want. He is a secure actor like that. Prithviraj is a wonderful person to talk to, I was lucky I got to work with these wonderful men.”

When asked about coming back to Telugu films, being a “Reddy girl,” as she puts it, it fills her up with pride. “I have also signed a film called ‘OG’ with Sujeeth in Telugu. I am in love with the script, what he has penned is a total winner,” she says. She exclaimed that she is really looking forward to working with Pawan Kalyan, Prakash Raj and the rest of the cast and crew. She further added, "If people loved me in 'Salaar' as Radha, 'OG' will be the cherry on top."

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